Restoring an afghan

Morning all, Duke’s outside, waiting for the birds and the squirrels to wake up, perhaps a rabbit or two. The Hubsy is in the dining room, and I’m freshly showered, sprayed and powdered.

I’ve been working on restoring an afghan for a few weeks. It came with seriously frayed edges, and the woven in ends have come loose. The problem? I have to hand sew each of those ends back in.

The afghan is done in Tunisian crochet, with many many multiple colors. It’s got squares done less than an inch in size of each color. The woman who made it was a genius, and used a corner to corner technique probably over 25 years ago. The yarn is that old.

The colors are no longer available, even though the company that created the yarn is still around. So, I had to do quite a bit of consultation with the family. I first got permission to replace the areas that are missing with modern yarn, and with modern colors. That was easy to do, and now, I’m using sewing thread to reinforced the joins, and stitch in the loose ends.

It’s taking quite awhile, but this is an heirloom afghan. Sadly, even if I raided thrift stores for completed afghans, there is no guarantee to match the original colors, yarns or such. Basically, this is a salvage job.

With each stitch, I’m trying to be mindful of the work done before me, by a stitcher who has been long since gone. I wonder what she was thinking, what was happening in her life, and how long she did the work for each day. This afghan, even at my top speed, would have taken me 2 or 3 months to work.

I wish I could do this work justice, but my simple stitching just isn’t up to the level that this stitcher did. My main goal is to preserve, and to do no harm.

Hope you are well, take care. I better get back to work. -L


A good day and Holy Crap

Hello all, Hope you are well.

Yesterday I spent the early part of the day out cold. I didn’t make it to bed until about 3, and slept until 11. Even though I was tuckered, I just couldn’t sleep. It’s a ‘well, that sucks’ situation. However, I got busy. And, Holy Crap….

One of my friends stopped by. He and his bride are moving, and I’m inheriting a few things that they aren’t bringing along. I also got to do some restoration work on two afghans. That’s the Holy Crap part.

First, a center start corner to corner style afghan done in Tunisian crochet. It’s magnificent. What originally was going to be a re-weaving in of ends turned into heart break. The edging looks like it had been caught in a recliner. I don’t have the yarn in the stash to re-work the edging. I’m going to wait until I talk to the owner, and ask. I may have to re-work the edging, get replacement yarn, and do the whole thing. If she is willing to let me come close, I can patch in with similar yarn, but two rows of the edging were affected.

The next thing, a hole in the middle of an afghan. I came close with the yarn, and recreated the stitches that were affected. I wove in ends and hope that she is satisfied.

Okay, just got off the phone with the owner of the afghans. I was pretty scared. She understands that Red Heart has changed quite a bit over the years, so, I will proceed with the restoration work. This one is different in that I’m going to write down the pattern as I restore the afghan. I want to duplicate it in modern yarns if I can.

That said, I’ve got to head to the store, and pick up the closest yarn I can and some fray check. I want to run some tests on the original yarn, which I have fragments of, and the modern redheart. Then get back to work.

Please, take care my friends. Hugs from Minnesota. -L

A few of my stitching tools

Morning all, thought I’d do a walk through of my favorite stitching tools. Let’s start with the sewing category.


Starting with my treadle sewing machines… Singer model 66 from 1924. I’ve converted her to hand crank. She is just beautiful. Then we have the New Home machine. She is older, and still in the repair and upgrade mode. Lastly, the Brother lx3817. All 3 models are work horses, and I swear I have stitched miles through these machines.

For hand sewing, I have my huswiffe… I started with a singer sewing kit with zipper. I got it at Walmart and I modified it to fit my needs. This kit goes into whatever stitching bag I have running. It’s bright pink. Some mods I’ve made is adding some of my favorite thimbles, and I made a simple needle book I made. I swapped out the nippers for some older ones which were shaped like a crane. I added a sponge, a few needle threaders and a sponge as well as extra nippers. I grab this first for every stitching project which involves thread.

For individual tools, I buy my hand sewing needles in ultra fine. I get my thread in thrift stores. I buy older sewing kits and often there is thread there. My favorite nippers are generic. For thimbles, I have all makes and models. Individual tools here just don’t matter.

Why do I have 3 sewing machines when I have a working model 66 singer? For the same reason I have both a sports bra and another type of bra. They do different things.

Knitting and Crochet

I’m lumping these together as there is so much cross over in tools.

Pouches, makeup bags, coin purses.. little pouches as well. So many knitting notions get jumbled together. Small dollar store pouches for the win.

I get those kits of knitting notions, cheap just a couple of dollars, and they work exceptionally well. I spread them amongst my pouches of things, which fit into a makeup bag, and holy crap… knitterly gold.

Now here’s where I am a hypocrite. I have chiaogoo interchangeable needles, but then again, I have the cheapest needles as well. For everyday knitting needles, those that are to make dishcloths and such… I have cheap knock off sets of ten to fourteen inch straights. For crochet, whatever knock off set or partial set I can get anywhere. Yet the most expensive thing in any case is the chiaogoo.


I have every type of knitting bag or craft bag you could imagine. Weird, since I am a hermit. However, splitting up projects into their own bag with all the tools except for the huswiffe, makes a happy medium for me. I have a separate huswiffe with knitting/crochet specific tools. They both live together in a main pouch. My favorite, is a homemade one that I took a tshirt and made into a bag.

The final outcome

I have other tools, we aren’t talking about spinning or weaving quite yet. The 4 big ones, the sewing machines and the chiaogoo are big ticket items. The rest are generic or items that I bought in thrift stores. When an item wears out, holy crap, I’m out what, 50 cents? Not heart breaking.

I hope 2022 is treating you well. Hugs, take care, -L

Attack of the killer UFO’s


Crap. I’ve been spending the last hour or so organizing my knitting tools. I have a big project bag for UFO’s. And they are evil.

Totally freaking evil. There’s the Pi shawls from heck. They were supposed to be done quite awhile ago. Then there is the project I started yesterday. The potholder made from i cord. Then there is the meetings shawl.

A meetings shawl is a memorized pattern that I can do while focusing on other things. It’s in crochet, and is a triangular granny square. Sighs. It’s still in progress. Though I found another skein of yarn for it.

The there is the other Pi shawl. The 10 stitch potholder, the slipper socks, the afghan, the sewing projects, the yada yada yada….

I love knitting and crochet. I love spinning yarn. We won’t talk about the spinning wheel lurking in the garage until I can get more room in the main house. Where am I going to find more room?!? I love weaving, thankfully, that’s a table top loom. I love sewing, and and and and………

Sighs. I’m a little overwhelmed, but several stitcherly projects are now settled in on my bed. I don’t have room for them anywhere else right now. I better get back to cleaning.

Hope your day is a good one. -L